New wing opens at Art Institute

May 16, 2009 4:42:27 PM PDT
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel joined the ceremony marking the opening of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute Saturday.The former Chicago congressman called the wing a big, bold and beautiful step into the future.

The new wing took six years to plan and four to build. It showcases a leading collection of 20th and 21st century art, architecture, design, and photography and makes the Art Institute the nation's second largest art museum.

The wing was designed by award-winning international architect Renzo Piano.

"It's about openness. It's about accessibility. It's about lightness. It's about making a building that is not intimidating, a building that implies easy relationship with the street and with the city," Piano said.

To help celebrate the wing, admission to the entire museum is free through Friday.